Anyone can set goals. But if you are looking to find balance and fulfillment, it’s important to ensure that you’re setting goals that align with your passions, values, strengths—and ultimately your top priorities in life.

Think of goal setting like a journey. In most cases, you wouldn’t set off on a cross-country road trip with just your destination in mind. Instead, you’ll probably have a series of different things that you’ll want to plan in order to make your trip a success—sights to see, places to stay, things to do, and stops to make.

While it might be possible to journey without a plan, you most likely would miss great things along the way and end up at your destination tired and burnt out.

In many ways, goal-setting can be thought of in the same way. While it’s true that you could set one goal for one aspect of your life, a better option is to set goals carefully and strategically with the big picture in mind. In most cases, this means setting not just one—but a series of goals—each one pertaining to different areas of your life and quite possibly supporting one another to achieve your overarching vision of a well-designed life.

Last week, we looked at the importance of discovering our core—our values, passions, and strengths.

Today, we’re going to uncover the importance of balance, and setting goals across the five most important areas of life.

If you’d like to lead a balanced and fulfilled life, then you’ll want to think through these distinct areas when goal-setting: self-care, relationships, personal development, resources, and vocation. These are all important facets of your life—and working to ensure that your time and energy is distributed across all five sectors will help you to feel far more aligned with your core and fulfilled.

To get started, think about the progress that you’d like to see in each of the areas below and then map it out for your year (either in your Day Designer, or on this free printable).

Self Care

Are you prioritizing your health and happiness? You should be! But sadly, all too often we tend to push our own needs aside. If we don’t prioritize our own needs and happiness, we’ll end up feeling burnt out, run ragged, and worn down. When this happens, no one wins—since in the end we have nothing left to share with others!

Make sure you’re taking time to put your needs first and foremost. Practice good self-care and avoid packing your schedule too full, to the point where it starts to take a toll on your energy and enjoyment of life. Prioritize your needs, carve out time to relax and spend on things that you enjoy, and make no apologies for it!

Relationships

Your relationships—your family and your friends—matter. So make sure you’re prioritizing the ones who mean the most to you! Take time to connect with friends that you haven’t seen for a while, and pick up the phone and call your parents or extended family members. You’ll feel better and more fulfilled for it, and your loved ones will too!

Personal Development

Never stop growing! Personal development is vital—and isn’t something that should end after school. This year, why not resolve to make time to develop a new skill or learn something new. Get ahold of some good books, consider taking a class at the community college, take a photography workshop, or sign up for an art class. Whatever it is that you’re interested in, spending time learning or improving your skills will help you to develop and grow—and constantly propel you forward in life.

Resources

Where are your resources going? Time and money are two things that are in limited supply, so ensure that you’re managing your resources wisely! Where would you like to spend more time this year? Where might you be able to spend less money this year? Or is there a goal that you’d like to reach financially? Perhaps pay off credit card debt, or maybe you could save up for a down payment on a home? Whatever it is, be sure to jot it down so you can start working towards it.

Vocation

Finally, your job, career, or community involvement is important too! And yes, being a stay-at-home mom totally counts! Wherever your interests and passions are, ensuring that you’re setting aside enough time and resources on developing them. Maybe you’d like to brush up on some qualifications that you’ve been meaning to for a while, or perhaps you’d like to volunteer once a month to help out with a cause that’s near to your heart? Look for carve out time for things that will better yourself, nurture your family, advance your career, and help your community.

If you’d like to start setting goals that you can stick with; ones that leave you feeling motivated and alive, rather than drained and exhausted, then it’s important to ensure that you’re finding balance across all sectors of your life. Make sure you’re not neglecting any area of your life, and look to create balance. You’ll feel more fulfilled and happier as a result!

Stay tuned! Next week, we’ll guide you through turning your goals into monthly actions, weekly routines, and daily habits—helping you to create goals that are not only achievable, but ones that stick.

What are YOUR goals for 2019? Which aspects of your life will you be focusing on this year?

A Day Designer planning system is your tool for mapping out your big-picture goals and carving out time in your schedule for the things that matter most. Choose your 2019 Flagship Planner today!